The Sunday at the 2011 Masters will always go down as one of the most enjoyable days of golf I have ever watched. The tournament committee and Mr. Billy Payne must be commended for the course set up the last two years. They seem to have gone for a slightly more playable and softer course and the results have been tremendous. The eagles and birdies and thus, excitement, are back on the final nine. It could not be more fun to watch.
Here are a few points I found interesting or strange about the final day's play:
- At one point every continent, other than Antarctica (and not the Arctic which is an ice sheet Mr. Feherty) was represented on the final page of the leaderboard. I could almost picture the anticipation shifting from Europe (Rory), to the US (Tiger), to Asia (KJ), to Australia and finally to Africa with Charl's courageous finish.
- Rory actually led going into the final nine and ultimately finished 10 shots back. Think about that...His four shot lead had dissipated by the time he had reached the third tee box. Note: If you ever find yourself in an event and you have a lead going into the final round here's a thought - take every golfer withing 8 shots and view the day as a one round shootout. Is it possible for you to play decent and still lose to another golfer by 6, 7 or 8 shots? It certainly is! Get out there and treat the final round as if you need to beat every player in the field. Don't let that 3 or 4 shot lead lull you into a defensive mode of play. In fact Rory would have needed to shoot 69 in order to win - an excellent score for an overnight leader and that's with a four shot head start!
- Tiger Woods comes across as an arrogant jerk and I am amazed at how vehemently I now root against him. Please don't try to convince me that all golfers curse as much as Tiger with the excuse that he just has the camera on him more often. Please...
- Best Interview Award goes to Rory who stated that this experience would only serve to toughen him and prepare him better for the future. Rory you are a class act. He tweeted the pic below with the statement:
Off to Malaysia with Charl. At least one of us has the green jacket.
- Worst Interview Award goes to...it's obvious isn't it? At least he's consistent with it.
- Jim Furyk was in 1 greenside bunker all week while Ian Poulter and Jeff Overton were in 13 each!
- Martin Kaymer, the PGA champion, was watching the closing holes on TV at JFK along with British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen. The two were so riveted by their friends amazing late charge that they refused to board a flight taking them to the Malaysian Open where they are playing this week. The authorities eventually delayed the flight by an hour so that they could watch the final few holes and see the victory. Try that next time you're in JFK....
This is what was in the champion's bag:
The 2011 Masters Stat Pack:
Schwartzel 49/72 t18; Day 52/72 t6; Scott 51/72 t11; Woods 53/72 5th; Ogilvy 50/72 t16
Schwartzel 17 t11; Day 23 1st; Scott 17 t11; Woods 19 5th; Ogilvy 20 4th
Schwartzel 1.49 2nd; Day 1.58 t11; Scott 1.54 t3; Woods 1.67 t33; Ogilvy 1.54 t3
In the driving categories of distance and accuracy the only point of note was how few of the contenders rated highly in either distance or accuracy. Day was 17th and Scott 19th in distance and Ogilvy was t7 in accuracy.
It really was good to see a young talent come through and finish an event in the fashion that he did - almost reminds a little of his good friend and roommate Louis Oosthuizen.
An interesting interview with Charl about his eagle on the third hole and his dad's influence on his game. I love his statement at the end about keeping it simple so that it will hold up under pressure. Something we can all do well to keep in mind!